If you’ve ever tried to have a negative review removed from an online platform, you’d know it can be almost impossible—and for good reason. Failing to adhere to The Competition and Consumer Act 2010—whether you’re a business receiving a review, a reviewer or a review platform—can result in legal action. But it still doesn’t help the fact that sometimes reviews do need to be removed.
From time to time, matters do arise where a competitor is being nasty, a customer is being unreasonable, a review has been left by mistake or a personal relationship has gone sour and nasty. When these things happen, we’re going to show you how to remove reviews from Facebook, Google, Localsearch and other popular platforms. Although, quick disclaimer, we can’t guarantee the review will be removed.
Note: It may seem tempting to simply remove the review function from your Facebook page, Google My Business or Localsearch Business profile, but it can do more harm than good. If potential customers know a platform has reviews but you’re not allowing people to leave you feedback, it sets off alarm bells. We explain at the end of this article what to do if you can’t remove a review at all.
How to remove reviews from:
A Facebook Page
Unfortunately, having a review removed from a Facebook business page is pretty rare, and unless you know the process, you may end up sending Facebook feedback and not actually submitting a request for a review to be removed. We recommend following both processes, which should only take a minute or two.
Process One: Submit a Feedback Report to Facebook
Locate the exclamation mark in the top right-hand corner of the review you wish to report.
Next, follow the prompts depending on the reason for reporting the review.
Facebook will then give you the option to block the user or hide all their posts (from your personal account, not your business page), as well as report the post, which will flag it with Facebook for review. You can do so this way or follow the process below.
Process Two: Request to Remove a Review from Facebook
In the right-hand corner again, you’ll see three horizontal dots. Click on these to bring up the reporting options. Select the one relevant to your review and follow the prompts.
A Google My Business Profile
Google My Business is another tricky platform to have a review removed from. To report a review on your Google My Business, select the three dots on the far right of the review you’d like to report. A dropdown will appear with Copy Link and Flag as Inappropriate. Click on Flag as Inappropriate.
Before you can continue with reporting the review, Google makes it clear only reviews that violate their policy will be removed, not simply because it’s negative or the business does not like it.
Once you click Flag as Inappropriate, you’ll be asked to submit your email address and reason for reporting the review. Your options are:
- This post contains hateful, violent, or inappropriate content.
- This post contains advertising or spam.
- This post contains conflicts of interest.
After you’ve submitted your review, it is up to Google to decide on whether to remove the review or not. It’s very rare a review will be removed when deemed inappropriate content.
What does Google My Business considered inappropriate content?
Google outlines the following under their Maps User Contributed Content Policy Help page:
– Spam and fake content.
– Off-topic content.
– Restricted content.
– Illegal content.
– Terrorist content.
– Sexually explicit content.
– Offensive content.
– Dangerous and derogatory content.
– Conflict of interest.
A Localsearch Business Profile
Reviews submitted and requested for removal on a Localsearch business profile go through a manual process with our review management team. As we are Australian-based, we can provide support specific to our regulations, rather than a blanket process like other platforms.
To request to remove a review, all you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org, ensuring you include your business information, your reason for wanting to remove your review and any evidence to back up your claim. Providing evidence will help speed up the process, however a decision is normally come to within 2 business days.
For us to remove a review, there will need to be evidence of:
- Inappropriate or offensive language.
- Being too vague (not outlining the experience).
- Revealing any personal information.
- The matter having progressed to a legal level.
- A personal dispute (not an interaction with the business on a customer-to-business level).
- It not being a review (such as an enquiry).
- Defamation (reviews are generally understood to be in the opinion of the reviewer, so it must be a clear statement).
- Information in the review being false or misleading.
- The review is for a medical service.
- The review is an exact duplicate from another platform.
- A particular person is being targeted in an unfair matter.
For a full list, please visit the Localsearch Content Integrity page.
What to do if you can’t remove a review.
Not all reviews can or will be removed. But there are some steps you can take to help repair your reputation, even if the review is still there for the world to see.
- Try and resolve the issue with the reviewer and, if so, ask the reviewer if they’d be comfortable removing or updating their review.
The only other person who can remove a review, other than someone at the platform, is the reviewer themselves. Resolving the matter with the reviewer and them removing the review not only gets rid of the negative feedback online, but it may mean a repeat customer too.
- Reply to the review in a polite and professional manner, requesting the reviewer to contact you. Do not point fingers or air your dirty laundry.
Sometimes it’s not even the negative review that matters, it’s how the business has handled it. Potential customers want to know if something does go wrong, they’ll be taken seriously and you’ll do everything in your power to resolve the issue.
- Build your positive reviews by asking happy customers to review you on the platforms your business is listed.
You can’t please everyone—and consumers know this. Try to keep your total star rating over 3.5 at the very minimum by asking happy customers to review your business. Be sure to reply to the positive reviews, as well as the negative.
Using a review manager can help you do this easily.
- If you have good reason and evidence for removing a review but are unable to have it removed or resolve the matter with the reviewer, seek professional legal advice.
As mentioned, review platforms have legal responsibilities in handling these matters too, which may restrict what they can do for you. If you feel, and have evidence of, an unfair review of your business, and you’re unsuccessful with having it removed, seek professional advice.
- Do not remove the review function unless the problem is severe and you have exhausted all other options.
Reviews are good for search engine optimisation (SEO), so it’s crucial you only remove your review function (if the platform allows for this) if you absolutely have to do so.
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